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Hopeful_Ink_Hoof


[He/Him] Just a writer who likes MLP and hopes to make a living off it: https://ko-fi.com/ink_hoof

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Time and time again, Chrysalis, former queen of the changelings, has tried and failed to conquer Equestria. So now, she has another plan: try another place. A whole other world, in fact.

(A short story written for the Villain Exchange Program contest being held by FanOfMostEverything)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 8 )

Chrysalis and the Sirens is a thing which should be huge, and yet isn't. I don't think any two major villains are more alike than Chryssi and Adagio. Likewise, Chrysalis and Aria definitely have their commonalities, and seeing the changeling queen, used to dealing with incompetent children, meeting Sonata would be quite an event. And yet there are very few stories dealing with them together; two of which are very fetishy, and one is parent/children. There's a good Chryssi x Aria one, but it's only one or two chapters.

So I really like the idea behind the story, and was very excited by the premise. I'm afraid, though, that for me the execution didn't live up to that.

Firstly, the pacing was based on some strange choices. The meat of the story, the main focal point, should be the conversation between the four of them, and yet at least the first half of the story seemed to be backstory and setup. I think you could have covered the whole of Chrysalis' POV scenes leading up to the meeting with just a few paragraphs of her internal thoughts instead as she approached the Dazzlings' front door. If they're deep in character, with her despairing at how ponies could be so incompetent as to leave the mirror unguarded, and yet somehow have managed to defeat her time after time, then it shouldn't feel too 'tell' rather than 'show.' This would let the story get to the point much faster, and give more time to dwell on the important bits.

And then the meeting/conversation/confrontation itself... kind of didn't really go anywhere or achieve anything? I can understand, of course, why the parties couldn't come to an agreement, and that it could still be interesting to see. But I would have preferred a lot more of how exactly the sirens and Chrysalis could have worked together and used their separate strengths to be greater than the sum of their parts. At the moment there isn't really anything to suggest why Chrysalis chose the sirens rather than any other defeated villain, other than that they're the most obvious ones not redeemed (though Chrysalis meeting Vignette Valencia would be hilarious).

I very much appreciated that Adagio was able to stand up for herself and shoot down the suggestion of being a mere minion, but I think the story rather sold Chrysalis short by having her think that? She's one of the most cunning of FIM's villains, and a lot of her plans are built on how well she and her army can act like ponies. That implies, I think, a degree of understanding pony psychology, and a general aptitude for knowing how others tick. All of which suggests I think that she'd be more respecting of the sirens as equals, so her going in with the attitude of making them underlings was disappointing. As was her lambasting them for being defeated by rainbow power when she'd suffered the same thing. Adagio rightly points it out, of course, but Chrysalis really should have seen that coming and therefore not said it in the first place.

There were also a few sexualised moments which felt very out of place with the rest of the story, like with Aria admiring Chrysalis' backside. There was no hint of shipping of any kind elsewhere, no flirting within the scene, no suggestion it might go further. As descriptions, those felt like they belonged in a clop story, setting the scene for a descent into debauchery. Here, they kind of just felt like something for the dads, and I think the story would lose nothing if they were removed.

There were some great moments, though! The idea of Chrysalis coming through with ready-painted nails (I'm picturing a dark, sea-green, going with a goth-influenced outfit) was neat, and I particularly enjoyed Sonata casually grabbing Chryssi by the hair and chucking her out. The observation that changelings would adapt to form changes much quicker than others, too, was thoughtful. But ultimately the story failed to deliver on its premise for me, and I would have liked to have seen a lot more back-and-forth between Chrysalis and Adagio, perhaps with Aria and Sonata brought in more too.

So I would say I really liked the idea for your story, I just wish it had done more with it, and got to the point quicker instead of spending so long setting the scene.

Not a bad read. I thought the characters were pretty solid, the sirens especially, and the premise was interesting, but I agree with Bloody Summer. Chrysalis' sexy, sexy butt -- while not inappropriate for her character -- felt out of place in the context of the story. The sirens observed more than once that she had a Prominent Posterior, but nothing ever comes of it, making them feel like unnecessarily sexual, needless throw away lines.

I would also argue that they make the story a bit too mature for an E rating. Teen fits better here, I think, just to be safe.

I think you have an incredible premise here. Chrysalis rounding up EqG villains? That's a concept that got legs. Plus Chrysalis and Adagio have enormous potential for chemistry together and some of it comes through during their sizing up stand off.

It's why it breaks my heart when Chrysalis gets thrown out on her bouncy butt! It's funny, but its also like “Wait go back! Kiss and make up! And make out while you are at it.”

If you ever decide on expanding on the concept, I'd argue the sirens are by far the most interesting villains she can work with. Flipping the order might be better with them being the last ones she approached after a fun montage of her finding Vignette too vapid, Juniper and Glorisa powerless, forgetting Wallflower's name, and wholly failing to convince Sunset to go demoness again.

Alternatively, maybe have her come crawling back to the sirens after the montage being a little bit more respectful. Maybe Adagio warmed up to the idea, too.

As for the Fanservice butt mentions, I don't think it's so out of place. Chrysalis and Adagio are both creatures of attraction. And you can easily tweak it to comedy I think if you have Sonata and Aria mutter on if excessively big curves or excessively big hair wins in the sly seductress shtick.

The pacing can use a little work. Forbloodysummer made some good points that it felt a little top heavy. You write some good character interaction and conversation, so that should be the biggest part of the story. You could start the story with the dramatic Derpy smashing through a window, acting stupid for a little bit before changing into Chrysalis when she sees she's alone and have her self-monologue as she walks to the mirror.

Also having Aria either put on the muppets on the tv or have Sonata going through the groceries or just cooking to prompt that very amusing bacon talk might make for some nice lead-in.

In anycase, I hope you revisit it! I say all these comments not to criticize but because I think you have a really really good idea that I would love you to write more about. Even if there isn't time enough for the contest maybe you might reconsider just to add more to add more. :pinkiesmile:

Huh. I have no idea how I missed this one until now.

In any case, the chapter title perfectly describes this one. It is indeed rich with possibilities. Possibilities that you sadly don't explore beyond an admittedly very satisfactory exchange between Chrysalis and the sirens. Still, this feels like only the first chapter of what could be a glorious humiliation conga for the changeling queen. I was thinking along 9207444's lines, with Chrysalis growing more and more frustrated by how the Rainbooms' vanquished foes aren't just powerless humans, but don't even seem to mind being defeated. (And Sunset... Yeah, that won't end well for Chryssy.) I'm envisioning her trudging back to the statue in defeat... only to realize that the ponies shut it off in the meantime.

And yeah, the almost Tarantinian discussion of Miss Piggy the butcher of her own kind came out of nowhere. Though it was a good way to establish the character dynamic for this particular set of sirens. And yes, the bugbutt comments didn't really go anywhere, though I do like the idea of Chrysalis being seductive without even trying.

All told, thank you for the entry. I just wish there were more.

With the contest over and the winners announced, I feel I can finally respond to some the comments made here. I know it's silly, but I didn't want to risk influencing the judges one way or another. With the comments in mind, I will leave the possibility of coming back and writing this out as a longer, multi-chaptered story as a possibility, but will not make any promises. Especially as I am working on another at this time.

9205462 9205594 9207444 9226819 (just put them all together for simplicity's sake)
To start, the choice of using The Dazzlings as the villains she interacts with: the thinking with that was that they would be the ones could actively know about the most. In To Where and Back Again, when her changelings replaced Twilight and her friends, they would also be able to access the journal with Sunset Shimmer. To that end, Chrysalis would have access to the information about them first and foremost, plus whatever she or her swarm could look up about them prior to her defeat. As such, to me at least, it would make sense that they would be the first ones she would try to reach out.

The discussion between Chrysalis and Adagio was supposed to be a bit unbalanced, but not as much as it came off. A major flaw to me of Chrysalis is a bit of arrogance, causing her to overlook things that could be important. The idea with the attempt to sway The Dazzlings to her side was that she was saying things she believed they wanted to hear, such as being equal partners, but was thinking of them as minions to serve her. At the same time, she was overlooking the fact that they had just as much experience -- if not more -- of deceiving and manipulating opponents, even without using their magic (such as devastating Sunset's ego or getting Trixie to be the one to trap The Rainbooms), which means that Adagio would be well aware that Chrysalis was trying to manipulate her.

The butt stuff (:pinkiehappy:) may have been out of place, but it was not intended as fan service (although I'm not going to complain about it). It was something I had in mind about her being a changeling in the human world. Physically, it mean that her features hard to tell her age and race, and that there was something alluring about her which others could not help but notice.

Hopefully this makes at least the thinking behind them a little more understandable. I'll try to keep the comments in mind if I ever get around to a longer, more fleshed out attempt at this story.

Two villains met, nothing was accomplished. Another normal day in Equestria. :rainbowlaugh:

"Two things," Adagio stated. She held up a finger. "First, we are no one's minions. Yes, Aria and Sonata follow me, but that is because we refuse to bend to anyone else. Do not think for one second that just because you have some pompous, overblown title in Equestria that we are going to get on our knees, bow to you, and kiss your over-sized royal posterior." She then held up another finger. "Second, don't think us stupid. If you actually were capable of conquering a world, you wouldn't be here looking for someone from a whole other world to work for you."

Man, this was an epic "Eviler Than Thou," moment from the best MLP Villain IMHO.

It makes sense. Chrysalis, despite being a good shape shifter, is a terrible, terrible leader. Her Changelings abandoned her, and the Mean 6 also turned on her too. Adagio, a proven leader, was able to see right through Chrysalis and her arrogance.

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